You may know it as Social Media Marketing, Social Marketing, Social Network Marketing, there are many phrases being used to describe the activity of promoting your organisation online. Many still see online advertising as a banner ad randomly dispersed across a 1000 web pages or a monthly investment in Google AdWords.
However the world of online marketing has changed along with its users and the real benefit of promoting your brand on the web is through the social networks and communities that your customers belong to.
Marketing through social media allows you to put your brand amongst your consumers in an environment that they feel comfortable with and never has this been more beneficial than when looking to communicate with students, as recent UCAS figures show
- 90% are members of Facebook
- 40% access social networks from their mobiles
- 92% access the internet for at least an hour everyday
However as discovered in a previous post (Should you recruit on Facebook?) the type of social network that you choose to target your audience is just as important as the message that you want to get across. With social media you are often limited by the amount you can say and so you need to place emphasis on being in the right place, on the right site and talking to the most relevant people.
For business professionals there is Linked In, Netmums supports parents and The Student Room has over 2.8 million unique visitors of 14-26 year olds every month. There are often concerns about the uncontrollable nature of social media but chances are that your brand is already being talked about and it is much better to influence the conversation than merely be a spectator.